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Hinagiku Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 10-22-2009 11:47 AM
Daisy Luu
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Martial Arts Musings
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Status: Public
Entries: 51
Comments: 101
Views: 1,350,916

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In Techniques Ura Waza Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #5 New 10-23-2009 10:47 AM
Most aikido techniques are performed either to the front of the training partner--"omote"--or to the rear--"ura." Both aim to break balance for the take-down and pin. Ura has always felt more powerful to me as a technique, more concentrated on the circular and spiral movements characteristic of aikido. When it's being done to me, there is a brief feeling of being off-balance, followed quickly by an out-of-control spinning where my training partner is the center axis and I am the spoke of the wheel.

Like what William Butler Yeats calls the "widening gyre" in his poem "The Second Coming," the centripetal speed begins at a concentrated point of power and spirals outward, gaining momentum as it becomes a bigger and bigger circle. There is a moment when my mind is gripped by the fear of the body losing control, and I have to make a conscious effort to breathe and allow myself to go with the flow. Arms akimbo, body flailing, and legs losing traction, I fly like I've just lost grip on the merry-go-around on the playground during it's maximum speed, and the room flashes by in a blur, and then I am on the ground, often bruised on my way down as my flesh impacts the mat after gathering velocity.

Ura waza is much like life when it spirals out of control; you can feel it coming, can even brace for it, but in the end, you will be swept along with the tide, watching things spinning from their logical, stationary position until they pass by in a blur, until they no longer make sense. This is what happens when "the centre cannot hold," when "things fall apart."
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